Chesapeake-Anne Arundel shuts down No. 14 Atholton, advances to 3A state football semifinals
by Trevor Colgan
Special to VSN
For many years, Chesapeake-Anne Arundel High football was an afterthought. Not anymore.
The Cougars are headed to the Class 3A state semifinals after a resounding 27-0 victory over 14th-ranked Atholton in a state quarterfinal contest in Howard County Friday evening.
Luca Genovese passed for a score and threw for another for Chesapeake, and Victor Listorti and Dylan Lewis each added a rushing touchdown.
Listorti’s touchdown run late in the fourth quarter was the exclamation point on an impressive postseason showing by the Pasadena school, which is back in the 3A state final four for the second time in four seasons. The Cougars will travel to Calvert County’s Northern next Friday for a spot in the state final at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in two weeks.
For the second straight week, Chesapeake ventured into Howard County and left victorious.
“It was a good four quarter battle,” said Cougar coach Rob Elliott, whose squad defeated Long Reach, 39-12, in the second round of the East Region playoffs last weekend. “We made enough plays to swing it our way.”
In the second quarter, Chesapeake embarked on a 20-play, 67-yard drive. Listorti led the charge on the ground for the Cougars as the tailback in their Maryland-I and Power-I formations.
Lewis punched the ball in from two yards out, taking the sails from the Raiders and their faithful.
“That’s a big thing that’s going on in this game,” Lewis said. “It keeps them from getting the ball back.”
Atholton drove inside Chesapeake’s red zone on the ensuing drive, but Kyle Lane’s interception inside the 10 ended the Raiders’ retort.
The Cougars, who relied on ball control, mostly through Listorti’s tough and shifty running, went unconventional in the third. Genovese hit Rushaun Tongue on a pair of deep 3rd down tosses, the latter a dagger from 37 yards, putting Chesapeake up 14-0.
“When you get that kind of success (running the ball),” Elliott said. “The complementary plays come off it eventually.”
Chesapeake added two more scores in the fourth quarter on runs from Genovese and Listorti the second. Listorti, whose breakout senior season has attracted several Division I suitors, did not have a big night Friday, but his short bursts kept the Raiders at bay.
“Just staying consistent, getting three, four yards a pop. That’s all we did all game,” Listorti said. “It was working for us.”
Not much worked for Atholton, looking to secure its first state semifinal berth. The Raiders thought they could attack Chesapeake downfield.
“We actually had some things we thought we could exploit on them with our team speed,” Atholton coach Eric Woodson said. “They were physical, they were rubbing us downfield.”
Despite the disappointing end, the Raiders have much to celebrate, winning a share of the Howard County championship.
“What we did this year has never been done at this school,” Woodson said. “Nothing to hold our heads about.”
Class 3A state quarterfinal
Chesapeake-Anne Arundel 27, No. 14 Atholton 0
Chesapeake 0 7 7 13 — 27
Atholton 0 0 0 0 — 0
Chesapeake – Dylan Lewis 2 run (Larry Hurst kick)
Chesapeake – Rushaun Tongue 37 pass from Luca Genovese (Hurst kick)
Chesapeake – Genovese 1 run (Hurst kick)
Chesapeake – Victor Listorti 1 run (kick failed)